The Wild started off strong, getting a goal from star forward Dany Heatley, from Marek Zidlicky and Mikko Koivu at the 16-minute mark of the first period. Zidlicky found Heatley alone streaking to Anaheim Goaltender Jonas Hiller's short side for the easy tap in goal.
Josh Harding looked good in net for Minnesota, until the third period. He had stopped all 15 shots faced through the first two thirds of the game. His most impressive save came when the Ducks' Ryan Getzlaf launched a one timer from the slot that had eyes for the twine, but instead met the glove hand of Harding.
After that, things unraveled for the Wild. Captain Mikko Koivu gave the puck away right in front of the net allowing Anaheim's Niklas Hagman to score on his second effort. Not more than five minutes later, the Wild lost track of Corey Perry who was left wide open on Harding's backside and put away the game winner.
Mental errors like the ones we saw Monday evening are becoming staples of Minnesota Wild hockey this season. First year head coach Mike Yeo was not impressed with his team's efforts. "It felt like that was a game we were going to win", Yeo said during his press conference afterward. For the Wild, the feeling is all too familiar. Yeo went on to say that there's a sense of "Oh no, not again," on the bench after they had given up the lead in the third period.
While the Wild look talented on paper, they have struggled to score goals since the New Year. During this five game skid, they have scored a total of six goals. In the star-laden NHL's Western Conference, that simply is not good enough to win games, and Minnesota's record reflects that. With the All Star break in the rear view, the season is winding down and so too are the Wild's playoff hopes. If the team cannot find a way to put pucks in the net, it risks not qualifying for the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season. In a state like Minnesota, and in a town like St. Paul, those results won't fly for long.